Oil demand is set to surge in the short-term as refining capacity hits a record, yet the gains may not hold as a flood of fuel gluts the market, eroding profit margins and eventually forcing refiners to cut runs and crude orders. Data on Thomson Reuters Eikon shows that available global capacity to refine oil into fuels like gasoline, diesel, or jet and shipping fuel, will reach 101.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, the highest on record, and up from about 97.25 million bpd in March.
During today’s E&ETV Event Coverage of Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2016, panelists discuss the current and future financing, policy and planning dynamics of offshore energy. Panelists include Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management at the Department of the Interior; John Weber, executive director of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council; Erik Milito, group director of upstream and industry operations at the American Petroleum Institute; and Nancy Sopko, manager of advocacy and federal legislative affairs at the American Wind Energy Association.
Several speakers at the recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in New Orleans lauded the positive impact of Congress’s extensions of the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) in December 2015. As they noted, these extensions position wind energy for a period of unprecedented stability and growth—at least for the onshore wind sector.
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission this week warning of a “growing problem” of deceptive marketing practices by segments of the solar industry. FTC is holding a workshop on June 21 examining competition and consumer protection issues with solar power, including a discussion of how consumers make decisions on solar installations.
Utilities face similar challenges across the U.S. as the cost of solar power and natural gas generation falls. Big corporate energy users such as Amazon. com, Apple, and Google have cut deals over the past two years to buy power directly from solar plants and wind farms.
US senators from Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Wednesday introduced legislation that would extend the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind through 2025. In December 2015, president Barack Obama signed into law an omnibus and tax reform bill that extended both the ITC and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind until 2019. However, given the longer planning and permitting times for offshore wind development, no such project is seen to qualify for the tax credits by that time. That is why the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (WIND) Act is being introduced, says a press statement.
Another wind farm has been approved for Antelope County, over objections from some residents. The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to let a Chicago-based company erect 160 turbines near Neligh (NEE’-lee). The company, Invenergy, already operates a wind farm in the Elgin area.
In February of 2001, then California Governor Gray Davis stood at the site of Calpine Corp’s new Sutter natural gas power plant and unveiled his plan to fast-track construction of similar stations to add 20,000 megawatts of modern, efficient generation to the state in three years. Natural gas, Davis said, was “the most environmentally friendly, clean, appropriate fuel” to help the state move beyond the energy crisis it had just endured and enable its 34 million residents “to enjoy the good life that California represents.” Today, the plants inaugurated that day are among the casualties of a monumental shift in the U.S. energy landscape.
Utility National Grid is to kick off the installation of a 20km submarine cable to connect the 30MW Block Island wind farm to the Rhode Island mainland. “We have not been able to pull the cable ashore but we expect to start tomorrow,” a National Grid spokesman told reNEWS after rough seas halted recent work on the wire.
A federal appeals court yesterday rejected a challenge from environmental groups to a large wind farm project east of San Diego. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the Interior Department adequately weighed the environment impacts of Tule Wind LLC’s project. Groups including the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps were challenging the agency’s 2011 environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as the proposed project’s impact on migratory birds.